Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Closer look at marking method

I didn't give a lot of detail about my "marking method" for the quilting design on the borders of my big quilt, so I thought I'd show it in place. If you click on the picture, you should be able to make out the perforations in the Golden Needles Quilting Paper, which is very much like the paper used in many dress patterns. It is lightweight and translucent like tracing paper so it is easy to line it up properly if needed and easily tears away after stitched. Because of that easy tear quality, I was a bit concerned at how it would hold up to a lot of handling. Initially, I planned to pin and stitch one border at a time, but then I decided to allow the design to "turn the corner" so all borders had to be pinned on at once to get that correct miter turn. I am very pleased to report that the paper held up fine. And the perforations a very easy to see and follow, regardless of the color or pattern of the fabric under it.

I have to admit that when I turned the quilt to look at the back, what I saw made my heart race. No matter how I quilt a quilt, viewing it from the back is always a different sensation than from the front. With nothing to distract, you get the full impact of the quilting design. Most of the time, I feel satisfaction, an ooh-aah moment, get to appreciate the design on a different level, but seldom does my heart race. So why for something so simple and straight forward as this design? My only explanation is that antique quilt and traditional quilting background of mine. Something about grids and parallel lines appeal even though I also appreciate echoes and curves. I suppose it speaks to my need for symmetry and a bit of regimentation. This is why it has been so difficult for me to transition to an art quilt world that is usually all about freedom and asymmetry. I've loosened up my style a lot over the years but it still makes me uneasy to tackle freemotion designs without guides to follow. As I stared at these lines running straight and true and then intersecting for a moment, my only thought was how to bring designs like these into my art quilts. I think I have been subconsciously dismissing their use simply because I know they originate in traditional design, but that doesn't mean I can't adapt them. I think I've had similar conversations with myself, but none quite so clear as this one. This could be the stumbling block that's been holding me back, making me uncomfortable with some of my work. Not sure at the moment what I'll do with this minor revelation, but it does seem important. I can think back to a few quilts where I've gingerly inserted some parallel line quilting and was immediately pleased so why haven't I've used it more? I think I need to give this kind of quilting design a bigger voice in my art quilts.

1 comment:

Obaging said...

I find quilting quite hard to do. You are good at it.